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    Acient Secrets: Mikvah Mystery

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-25T12:14:17Z
    When a site in Jerusalem was earmarked to become a nursery, antiquity officials arrived to make sure that construction work wouldn’t destroy something of archaeological significance.

    Usually, after officials clear an area, building can begin.

    However, archaeologists stopped construction in its tracks.

    The site, located in the Arnona district, turned out to be a mikvah (ancient Jewish ritual bath).

    Remarkably, the room’s walls were decorated with symbols and script written in Aramaic—words that the experts are still unable to decipher.

    The pictures include palm trees, a boat, and what is most likely a menorah (a seven-branched candelabrum).

    The images and Hebrew script, which were etched in plaster and mud, are around 2,000 years old.It’s unclear whether the marks had religious importance or were added by some graffiti artist.

    Either way, the finding is seen as one of the best such discoveries.

    It’s unique to have so many symbols and letters from the Second Temple period at a single location.


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